Elephant Bushings for the Front

040305-l0147 The suspension must be taken apart enough to free the a-arm which must be removed to install the new bushings. My Koni's are held on with at 22 mm nut.
040305-l0149 The arm from the ball joint at the bottom of the shock strut connects to the a-arm. The castelated nuts have to be removed. The bolts through the a-arm also capture the bottom end of the factory sway bar. Your car may not have this piece.
040305-l0150 The strut is clear of the a-arm in this picture, held up with a rope so the brake line is not stretched tight.

The sway bar is clearly shown in this picture.

Now we can remove the a-arm.
040305-0151 You will need to reset the suspension to the same angle when you are finished with the job as when you started in order not to change the ride height. I find that mearuring the distance from the ground to the A-arm work well. Don't forget to lift the end of the arm so it is agains the stop before making the measurement.

Rather than writing the distance down on a piece of paper, I just referred to this picture when reassembling the suspension.
040305-l0152 You can see the dark colored plastic cap covering the end of the torsion bar. The cap is removed to get access to the torsion bar.

The socket head bolt in the left side of the picture clamps the old rubber bushing. It should be removed. You may have to spread the clamp with a screw driver to free the bushing.
040305-l0153 Here the plastic cap is removed, showing the end of the torsion bar and a snap ring that prevents the torsion bar from working out the rear of the suspension.
040305-l0155 Here the clamp that holds the rear bushing is clearly visible. The bushing is showing its age with cracks in the exposed section. There is a thin steel cover over the bushing. That will come free when we remove the a-arm.
040305-l0156 The front end of the a-arm is attached with three bolts and comes free when these are removed. Now the torsion bar can be removed to the front by removing the snap ring and driving out from the rear with a drift pin. Next the a-arm can be worked out of the rear attament by pulling from the front and moving it side-to-side.

Notice the steel cover on the rear bushing (which is actually to the left of this picture). The cover is removed by heating with a butane torch. It will eventually get hot enough to slide off and then the bushing can be cut free. It drips molten bushing during this process and even when cool, liquid decomposed bushing can get on everything in site. put news papers on the floor. The residual bushing can be disolved with 3-M spray adhesive cleaner.
031220-4303 Here is the old front bushing that can be worked off relatively easy with a large screw driver.
031220-4305 This shot clearly shows the metal sheild over the rear bushing.
031220-4309 The factory surface at the rear a-arm is suitable to take the bronze bushing. Clean it up with trial fittings of the bushing.
031220-4310 Here is a trial fitting of the bronze bushing. You are done when the bushing seats nicely against the shoulder and can turn freely.
040305-l0157 Now is a good time to clean up the A-arm.

One end will accept a sleeve from the new bronze bushing. Put brass shims under the sleeve till it is tight. The other end can be cleaned up so the bronze bushing will slide nicely over it. I used a lot of 400 grit sandpaper on this step.
040305-l0158 When the rear end of the a-arm is cleaned up and sanded the bronze bushing will slide on. It will be protected by grease and is renewed through the zirk fitting.

The front end requires less preparation, sliding the sleeve over the end held in place with shims between the a-arm and the sleeve.
040305-l0160 The final a-arm with the bushings is slightly longer at the mating shoulders than the original. The extra needed space can be gotten by slotting the front cap. Instead, I ground the ends as shown.
040310-l0168 The old metal sleeve must be put over the rear poly bushing before it is replaced on the car.

I had to replace the hex socket bolt.

Now put everything back together. It may take a couple of tries before the end cap is ground down enough. It is also a bit of a hassle when putting the torsion bar back to get the same distance from the floor.
Last modified: Fri, 05 Mar 2004


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